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Pioneers' Association.

In Colorado, on July 7, 1863, Mr. Wilson was
united in marriage to Miss Mary Britten, who was
born in lUinois, and of this union five children
have been born: Helen, who is the wife of Asa A.
Kennison, a successful ranchman of Beaverhead
county ; Thomas, who lives on the homestead
ranch, located four miles south of Dillon; Will-
iam, at home ; Anna, who is the wife of Carl Bond,
of this county, and Charles, who is at the parental

JOHN NOYES was born in lower Canada on
March 21, 1828. His father, John Noyes, Sr.,
was a native of New Hampshire, and removed to
Canada when he was twelve years of age. He
became a prominent and prosperous farmer and
contractor there. His wife, mother of Mr. Noyes,
was Lydia (Dexter) Noyes, a native of Montpelier,
Vt. Both parents died in Canada. The Noyes
family is of Revolutionary stock, and its members
gave a good account of themselves in many
sanguinary battles during the great struggle for
independence, and wherever they have l)een located

the Noyes have well borne their part in the duties
of citizenship. Mr. Noyes was the third of the
seven children born to his parents. He obtained
his early education in Canada, and later attended
Newburg Seminary at Newburg, \^t. When he left
school he engaged in business with his father, but
at the age of twenty-three the California gold ex-
citement and the prospects of wealth which held
out induced him to make a trip to that territory.
He went by the way of Panama, and reached his
destination after a long and tedious passage. He
there followed placer mining until 1859. In that
year he joined a stampede to what is now A'irginia
City, Nev., then known as the Washoe country,
and passed the winter in that neighborhood. In
the spring of i860, the Piutes and Shoshones being
on the warpath, a man came into camp and re-
ported that eight prospectors had been killed,
whereupon Maj. Ormsby, a retired army officer,
raised a company of 115 men, and with Mr. Noyes
as lieutenant started after the Indians. They came
up with them about fifty miles from the camp and
had a sharp engagement, but were greatly out
numbered, there being 2,000 or 3,000 of the Indians.
It soon became apparent that for any one to escape
alive he would have to look to his personal safety.
Of the 115 men only 17 escaped, and Maj.
Ormsby was among the killed. In the retreat Mr.
Noyes had his horse shot under him, losing his
coat and gun by the event. At that moment a
man rode up on a fine horse and Mr. Noyes re-
quested the favor of riding away with him, but
was refused. He then took the horse by the bridle
and drawing his revolver, told the man that he
would either ride with him or without him. He
was then allowed to mount and they rode away
at breakneck speed for three or four miles. They
then came up with Dr. Eckelroth, and the man on
the horse with Mr. Noyes dismounted, got on
another horse and rode off. Mr. Noyes and the
Doctor were obliged to proceed on foot as the horse
the two had been riding had collapsed. After
traveling about three miles they came to a river
bank some eight feet high, undermined b)- the
current. They hid under the bank for safety, and
not long afterward the Indians appeared above
them, but not being able to see them concluded
they had swum the river and got away. They re-
mained hidden until dark and then started for the
Doctor's home, which they reached about noon the
next day. Mr. Noyes arrived at Carson City a
day later, and two weeks after that he was second




lieutenant in a force of i,ooo volunteers under Col.
Jack Hayes and 200 regular soldiers, who returned
to recover the bodies of the men slain in the fomier
engagement. They met large numbers of Indians,
and a battle lasting from early morning until late
at night followed, in which twenty-eight whites
were killed.

In the fall of 1861 Mr. Noyes went into the
present state of Washington and continued mining.
He remained there only a few months, however,
and in the spring of 1862 went into the Boise
country, Idaho. Three years latrr he came to
Montana and located at McClellan's gulch, where
he again engaged in placer mining. In September
he went to Fort Benton, took passage on a
Mackinaw boat down the Missouri to Omaha, and
from there went to Canada on a visit to his old
home. He returned soon after to St. Louis via
New York, with the intention of buying a farm and
locating on it, but finding the farming community
in straightened circumstances, gave up the idea,
and, purchasing a large stock of goods in St.
Louis for the Montana market, he shipped them
on the steamer Grant on the ist of March. On
the fifteenth the Grant sank with all on board.
Mr. Noyes had, however, taken the precaution to
insure his goods, and promptly received his insur-
ance. Duplicating his purchases he shipped on
the steamer Waverly, and landed at Fort Benton
in June, 1866. He immediately took his goods to
Elk Creek and disposed of them at wholesale. He
then went to Butte to look after and sell a quartz
lead. There he bought an interest in the placer
mines, and has since been engaged in mining
operations in that vicinity. In 1865 he traded a ranch
in California for quartz mines in Butte, No. i
and No. 2 on the Original. When he came to
inspect them he found placer miners at work and
bought them out. In 1881 he, in company with
Mr. Upton, laid out two additions to Butte, one
of twenty acres, called the Noyes and Upton ad-
dition, and one of thirty acres, called the Noyes
and Upton railroad addition. Mr. Noyes still owns
considerable real estate in Butte, although he has
laid out five additions to the city and sold the lots.
He also has real estate interests of considerable
value in Seattle.

On July 20, 1871, Mr. Noyes was united in mar-
riage with Miss Elmira Meiklejohn, who was born
on the Atlantic ocean. Her parents, David and
Ann (MacGowen) Meiklejohn. were natives of
Scotland who emigrated to America and locate'!

in Missouri. During the last year of the Civil war
they crossed the plains to Montana, settling at
Virginia City. Two years later they removed to
Butte, and there died. Mr. and Mrs. Noyes have
four children, all married : John, Thomas, Alice
and Ruth. One son and one daughter are living
in Butte, the other son is in Alaska, and the other
daughter in New York. Mrs. Noyes was one of
the organizers of the Associated Charities of Butte,
and has taken an active interest in the affairs of
the organization, devoting much time and energy
to its workings. She served as one of its first
officers and aided in giving form and trend to its
operations. She was also prominent and influential
in the order of the Eastern Star. She was one of
the organizers of the chapter and its first worthy
matron. Her long residence in Butte, and her
activity in all good works affecting the welfare of
the city, have made her one of the prominent and
forceful figures in social circles, and given her a
warm place in the regard of the people.

In politics Mr. Noyes is a Democrat, and has
always given the affairs of his party his close and
intelligent attention. He was a member of the
territorial legislature from Deer Lodge county in
1878. At the time of the Nez Perces uprising he
was appointed captain of a company of volunteers
by Governor Potts, and led his company after the
Indians. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity,
belonging to the blue lodge, the chapter and tlie
commandery. He is a good citizen, whose aid to
public enterprises and whose bounty in private
charity are substantial and appreciable, although in
no wise ostentatiously bestowed. Whatever tends to
the improvement of the community enlists his
active support, and his public spirit has been mani-
fested so generally and so serviceably as to have
secured for him the universal and cordial esteem
of his fellow citizens, not only in Butte, but
throughout Montana and adjoining states.

For some time Mr. Noyes had been quite a suf-
ferer, and with the hope tliat he might be restored
to his former health went to Hot Springs, Ark.,
Init without avail. He died March 21, 1902, a sad
blow to his bercaxed family, and mourned by a host
of friends who will miss his genial, kindly counsel.

THOMAS A. WILLIAMS, residing in Bill-
ings, Yellowstone county, is the present clerk
of the district court for that county, and school
trustee for the citv schools. He is a native of



Wisconsin, born in Milwaukee on October i6,
1859, the son of Evan T. Williams and Ann C.
Williams, whose maiden name was Roberts. His
father was at one time deputy surveyor for
Waukesha county. Wis., private secretary to S. S.
Merrill, president of the- Chicago, Milwaukee &
St. Paul Railway Company and afterwards for
eleven years purchasing agent for the Northern
Pacific Railroad. Mr. Williams received his edu-
cation in the public schools of Milwaukee and St.
Paul, and after leaving school in 1877 he followed
civil engineering for three years, working for the
St. Paul & Duluth Railway Company and the
Northern Pacific Railway Company, l)cing a mem-
ber of the locating party, under command of Gen.
Rosser, which crossed the Missouri river in 1878,
working westward ; he afterwards worked for vari-
ous persons and companies until May, 1889, when
he located in Montana, where he has remained
since. He is fraternally identified with the Wood-
men of the World, being a past consul commander
in the Billings camp. In politics he is a Democrat
and was elected to his present office for a second
term without opposition. On June 17, 1884, at Du-
luth, Minn., Mr. Williams was married to Addie R.
Wilkinson, daughter of John J. and Rosetta (Mill-
er) Wilkinson, her father being a contractor and
builder of that city. He is the father of five chil-
dren now living, named Katharine, Harold,
Thomas, William and Dorothy.

EUGENE T. WILSON.— ■■Earn thy reward;
the gods give naught to sloth," said the sage
Epicharmus, and the truth of this admonition has
been verified in all human affairs and in all the
ages which have rolled their course since his day.
Successful men must be live men in this age, brist-
ling with activity, and thus the lessons of
biography may be far-reaching to an extent not
superficially evident. Eugene T. Wilson holds
high rank as one of the well-known business men
of ^Montana. His career has been marked by con-
secutive endeavor and consecutive advancement,
and he is recognized as a man of broad business
capacity and executive force. He was born in
Madison, Wis., on December 11, 1852, the son of
John T. and Sarah (Tallmadge) Wilson, natives of
Maryland and Ohio. In 1832 the father removed
from Maryland to Illinois, where he remained
about fifteen years and then took up his abode in

Madison, Wis. In 1866 he crossed the plains to
Gallatin, Mont., where he operated flouring mills
until 1870, ana thereafter resided in Utah until
1876, when he removed to the then territory of
Washington, where his death occurred in 1896. His
wife is still living and is a resident of Helena. Of
their four children three survive, Eugene T. and
his sisters, Mrs. F. W. Agatz and Miss Maude
Wilson, all of whom make Helena their home.
Receiving his early education in the public schools
of Wisconsin, and thereafter accompanying his
father to Montana, later to Utah and Washing-
ton, in each of these states Eugene T. Wilson con-
tinued his studies as opportunities presented. In
Utah he began his individual labors in life, being
first an assistant in smelters, and later engaging
in farming and merchandising in Washington. He
turned his attention to newspaper work in 1881,
purchasing the Pomeroy Republican, a weekly
publication of Pomeroy, Wash. Three years later
he purchased the Columbia Chronicle, at Dayton,
Wash., and successfully conducted it as a Repub-
lican newspaper for four years. He then removed
to Ellensburg, Wash., and was a merchant there
until 1889, when he was elected to the senate of
the state, serving with signal efficiency and being
president pro tem. of the body within his term of
office. Mr. Wilson had clearly shown his po-
tentiality as an executive and financier, and thus
his appointment in July, 1892, as national bank
examiner for Washington, Idaho and Montana,
was recognized as a merited tribute to his ability
and integrity. He has since been incumbent of
this important office, and his services have been
such as to fully justify his retention in the posi-
tion. In June, 1897, he was appointed receiver of
the Merchants' National Bank, of Helena, where-
upon he took up his residence in this city, which
has since been his home. In September, 1897, he
was appointed receiver of the First National
Bank, of Helena, the aggregate liabilities of the
two institutions being $4,000,000. He still has
control of these financial interests and has so han-
dled affairs as to render the maximum returns to
creditors and to husband the resources through
wise and effective administration. For a number
of years he has been on the directorate of the
Helena Light & Power Company, and of this corpor-
ation he was elected president in igoo.

Mr. Wilson has always taken an active interest
in political affairs, and in 1892 he served as chair-
man of the Washington Republican state central


committee, in which office he did much to aid his
party in the state. Fraternally he is prominently
identified with the order of Free Masons, in which
he has advanced to the chivalric degrees and is
now a Knight Templar. In 1893 he had the dis-
tinction of serving as grand commander of the
grand commandery of the state of. Washington.
The eminent financial ability of Mr. Wilson is recog-
nized throughout the states over which he has juris-
diction as bank examiner, and his many years of ex-
perience in the west have peculiarly fitted him for
a thorough comprehension of existing conditions
in the commercial field. He has great force of
character, is prompt in his actions and decisions
and possesses excellent business judgment. On
Christmas day, 1877, was solemnized his marriage
to Miss Clara Pomeroy, who was born in Oregon.
They have four children — ^Kathryne, Clarence P.,
Eugene E. and Genevieve.

TESSE R. WHARTON.— Among the progres-
J sive business men of Butte, where he holds the
important office of manager of the street railway
system, is Mr. Wharton, who has shown himself
to be a most efficient executive officer. In tracing
the lineage of Mr. Wharton we find that his an-
cestors have for several generations been con-
nected with America. He is a native of North
Carolina, and was born in Greensboro, Guilford
county, on November 4. 1857, the eighth of the
eleven children of John C. and Rebecca (Rankin)
Wharton. John C. Wharton was born in the same
house as was his son Jesse R., and the emigrant
representatives of the name came from England to
North Carolina as early as 1736. His mother was
likewise born in North Carolina, a descendant of
one of the old families of the state and whose an-
cestors came from the north of Ireland.

Jesse R. Wharton, after his school days were
over, at the age of seventeen years, entered the
employ of the Bank of Greensboro, and by his
fidelity and cumulative ability he soon advanced
from the position of collector and messenger boy
to that of teller. In January, 1882, he came to
Butte, Mont., to become teller in the Clark Bank,
retaining this position for seven years. In 1889
he was made superintendent of the Silver Bow
Water Company, in which office he served eighteen
months and then became manager of the two
electric light plants of the city. In 1891 Mr. Whar-

ton was chosen to his present responsible office as
manager of the Butte street railway system, in
which he has rendered most effective service. He
has brought the road to a standard where it com-
pares more than favorably with similar systems in
other cities. The lines have been increased in
mileage from twelve to twenty-five miles under
his management, the entire system has been re-
built, only one mile of the old trackage being now
utilized, and its lines now ramify through the city
in such a way as to meet all demands. The line be-
tween Butte and Centerville is called one of the
best specimens of street-railway engineering in
the United States. The company has purchased
and improved Butte's popular resort, the Colum-
bia Gardens, and extended the road thither. In
all these notable improvements Mr. Wharton has
been the chief factor, and it is largely due to his
business and executive ability that the system is
now on a paying basis.

Mr. Wharton is independent in political
thought, but believes that in time great good will
be accomplished through the socialistic move-
ment, that this will develop into a potent political
force, and that the condition of the laboring
classes will be thereby ameliorated and the "sub-
merged tenth" become a thing of the past. The
religious faith of Mr. Wharton is that of the Pres-
byterian church, in whose work he takes an act-
ive interest, and he is an elder of the Butte church.
Fraternally he is identified with Butte Lodge No.
22, A. F. & A. M., and while a resident of North
Carolina he was a member of the Guilford Grays,
a militia company which has held organiza-
tion from the Revolutionary epoch. It also ren-
dered service in the Civil war. In Butte, on
March 9, 1886, Mr. Wharton was united in mar-
riage with Miss Lizzie Noyes, who was born in
Gushing, Quebec, the daughter of Thomas C. and
j\lary x\nn Noyes. Mr. and Mrs. Wharton have
three children, all of whom are attending the
schools of Butte. Their names are Jesse N., Caro-
lina P. and John C.

p HARLES W. WHITLEY.— As an executive
Vv officer and business man, in connection with
one of the important industrial enterprises of
Montana, Mr. Whitley holds notable preferment,
while his ability peculiarly fits him for the effective
discharge of his duties as general manager of the



American Smelting & Refining Co., whose finely
equipped plant is located at East Helena. Charles
W. Whitley was born on June 20, 1869, in Cook
county, 111., the son of John and Elizabeth (Hol-
brook) Whitley, natives of New York and Man-
chester, England. His paternal grandfather was en-
gaged in shipbuilding, and in this industry John
Whitley was also occupied in his earlier years. In
1849 lie removed to Chicago, where he became prom-
inently identified with lumbering. In 1853 he estab-
lished a hardwood lumber enterprise, as the Hoi-
broolc Lumber Company, which was continued until
1893, so that Mr. Whitley figures distinctively as
one of the pioneer lumbemien of the western
metropolis. He later became interested in grain
elevators in that city, and he and his wife still con-
tinue their residence of many years in Chicago.

Charles W. Whitley received excellent educa-
tional advantages in Chicago, and supplemented
them by a thorough course in the Boston Insti-
tute of Technology, where he was graduated with
the class of 1891. After leaving school he was
for a time in the employ of the General Electric
Company, in Chicago, and thereafter engaged
with the Chicago City Railway Company as an
electrical engineer, and was associated there with
the late M. R. Bowen. Here Mr. Whitley re-
mained until 1896, when he made his advent in
Montana, locating in the capital city and forthwith
becoming associated with the Helena Water & Elec-
tric Power Company as its manager. This office
he retained for about a year, when he was ad-
vanced to his present responsible position of gen-
eral manager of the American Smelting & Refining
Company, of the duties of which he has given a
most discriminating and capable administration,
both technically and in an executive way.

Ml". Whitley has had an eventful and busy
career. His superior abilities in mechanical and
electrical engineering early received the recogni-
tion they so justly deserve. Endowed with
strong intellectual powers and having a firm grasp
upon the multifarious details of his profession, he
has added to them energy, industry and persever-
ance. With the widely diversified lines of me-
chanics, bookkeeping, commercial accounts and
applied science, especially electrical, he is equally
familiar, such is the comprehensive grasp of his
mind. To all with whom Mr. Whitley is associ-
ated it is plainly evident that he has before him a
brilliant future. Though young in years, it can be
truthfully said that no man could more satisfac-

torily fill the position he now holds. He has been
in the state and has made his home in Helena but
a few years, but has won the confidence and
esteem of a large circle of friends and acquaint-
ances throughout Montana, and is recognized as
one of the state's progressive and capable busi-
ness men. In politics Mr. Whitley gives his alle-
giance to the Republican party. He is not, however,
an active party worker, and in no degree is he an
office seeker.

EDMUND \^^HITCOMB.— A history of the
representative men of Montana would be in-
complete without notice of Edmund Whitcomb,
whose residence here covers a period of nearly forty
years. He saw on his arrival in Montana only
primitive mining camps, but he undauntedly bore
his part in the work of development, and has been
a potent factor in making Montana one of the im-
portant states of the Union. Edmund Whitcomb
was bom in Ashland county, Ohio, November 23,
183;, and is of German extraction, though his
father, John Whitcomb, was born in Maryland, in
1802. He removed to Pennsylvania when a 3'oung
man and there married Miss Mary Draughbaugh,
of Germany, about the year 1827. In 1837 they re-
moved to Ashland county, Ohio, where the father
devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits until
his death, in 1886, at the venerable age of eighty-
three. His widow died two years later, aged sev-
enty-six years. The subject of this review at-
tended the public schools near the old homestead in
Ohio, and later added a course of study in the Ash-
land Academy. In i860 he went to Kansas, and in
1862 to Colorado, the gold excitement being then at
its height. Upon locating in Colorado he en-
gaged in mining and lumbering, and there remained
until 1863, when he outfitted several mule teams
and set forth for Montana, to which locality there
was an exodus of the miners of Colorado. He says
in graphic language :

"On leaving Denver considerable snow still re-
mained in the ravines and canyons, and progress
was slow and difficult, and we had to shovel our
way for many days. On leaving old Fort Bridger
for Salt Lake City the snow was heavily encrusted,
rendering traveling anything but pleasurable. The
night before arriving in Salt Lake City we camped
in snow fifteen inches deep on the summit of 'Zion,'
but in the valley there was every evidence of spring.



and the change in a single day to bahiiy summer
was dehghtful to us, worn out by the cold weather
and heavy snow. We spent fifteen days in Salt
Lake City and then went on to Bannack, then in
Idaho. We reached there April 27, 1863, and
camped on Bannack flats. Later we were in the
midst of an attack by the road agents upon the Ban-
nack Indians in the vicinity, who, they claimed, had
threatened to kill eleven miners that had left Ban-
nack the preceding autumn, and in the fight 'Old
Brag,' a cripple, and three other Indians were

Mr. Whitcomb engaged in miring at Bannack
until the time of the stampede to Alder gulch, the
greatest placer camp in the history of gold seeking,
and remained there until August, when, in company
with Col. DeLacy and his party of forty-four men
he started for Snake river, to prospect for gold, said
to have been discovered there. .Soon learning the
falsity of the report the party disbanded and Mr.
\Vhitcomb. with four others, proceeded to Yellow-
stone lake, by way of Madison river, passing down
Yankee Jim's canyon, crossing the east Gallatin and
eventually reaching Virginia City in November,
. thus making one of the initial expeditions into what
is now the Yellowstone National Park. Mr. Whit-
comb passed the winter at Vivian gulch, twelve
miles from Virginia City : it was at the time the
\igilance Committee was making such strenuous
et^orts to do away with the highwaymen who men-
aced life and property on every hand. He person-
ally witnessed the execution of George Ives, the first
road agent hung in the state, and that of five others

Online LibraryA.W. BowenProgressive men of the state of Montana (Volume pt.1) → online text (page 100 of 199)